Nagama Pillar Inscription (නාගම ටැම් ලිපිය)

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Nagama Pillar Inscription
Nagama Pillar Inscription

Nagama (Negama) is a moor (Muslim) village in Galnewa Divisional Secretariat belonging to Anuradhapura District. Nagama is currently identified as Negama. The village lies about 50km south of Anuradhapura. Nagama Pillar Inscription was reported to be placed in the Nagama Mosque in 1928 by Wickremasinghe. Whether this pillar has been moved elsewhere, destroyed or still at the mosque is not known.

The pillar measures 4½ feet (1.4 meters) tall and 8½ inches (21.6 cm) square. Mr. H. C. P. Bell, then Archaeological Commissioner, examined it in 1895. The writing covers all four sides, with twenty-one lines on each, including the two top lines that are missing.

The letters of the Pillar Inscription is about 2 inches high and rows are divided by horizontal lines. The characters represent the alphabet of the 10th century. The pillar is attributed to King Kassapa IV (952-963)

The content of the record deal with the grant of the usual immunities to Kolayunugama, a village which had been given by Uda Mahapa to one (Ki)tambava. Mahaya as pamanu or ‘descendible’ property.

As. a rule, attani pillars of this kind were set up in lands belonging to temples or other public institutions. But in the present instance, the immunities were granted apparently to private lands, unless, of course, these were so well known as temple lands, that special reference to this fact in the inscriptions was considered unnecessary.

Translation

[Hail!] On the tenth day of the waxing moon of [the month of] Poson (May-June) in the seventh year [of the reign] of His Majesty [Siri Sang-bo].

Whereas it was [so] decreed by the Supreme Council, we all of us, namely, . . . . . . . . . . of the family of Mekappar-Vadarum Mugayin (Ma)nu, [Ki]li(ng) Gavayim . . . . . . . . . ., and Kundasala Ag-boyim of the family of the Chief Secretary Ag-boy Araksamanan, have come to set up a pillar of Council Warranty in respect of the village Ko(layunu) in the district of Tana-bima, which His Highness Uda Mahapa had assigned with [his own] seal as a pamanu land to Mahaya Kitambava.

And whereas we all the aforesaid persons have come by Order to set up the pillar of Council Warranty [to the effect that] labourers, and perenattus hall not enter this village; carts, oxen, and buffaloes shall not be appropriated; tramps and vagrants [shall not enter]; . . . . . . . . . . shall not enter; those who have entered this village after committing murder shall not be arrested; servants of the royal family shall not enter; and melatti shall not enter; to this village . . . . . . . . . . for (the performer of puna(?) service) in the great image-house at Abhayatura Bagirivehera a yearly (rent) for oil . . . . . . . . . . and that after informing the monastery servants and with their assistance after paying this rent, the village shall be enjoyed . . . . . . . . . . we have granted the immunities [contained] in the pillar of Council Warranty to this village so that it might be a sanctuary.

Whoever transgresses this [edict] shall be born a crow or a dog [in his future birth].

References

  • Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z. (1928) Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol II. London: Humphrey Milford (For the Government of Ceylon).

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Driving Directions to Nagama Pillar Inscription

Route from Kurunegala to  Nagama Pillar Inscription
Through : Hiripitiya – Medagalla
Distance : 65 km
Travel time : 1.15 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map

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